Young Women Dig Club Volleyball

Courtesy of the Paye’s Performance 14 black club

Cherie Vargas

The women’s club volleyball team from San Carlos is slated to compete in the Junior Olympics.

The women’s club volleyball team from San Carlos is slated to compete in the Junior Olympics.

The Paye’s Performance 14 Black club volleyball team based out of San Carlos prepares young women for their future and opens up the door for possible college play.

As the team prepares for their recently secured spot in the Junior Olympics, players said they are determined to advance their volleyball skills as well as develop values that will positively shape their character.

“Volleyball allows me to become a better person,” said outside hitter Tatum Novitzky. “I’m more confident because of it.”

Head coach Marietta Flynn agrees that volleyball positively influences her players. “It teaches girls teamwork, how to focus and time management,” said Flynn. “Outside of developing volleyball skills, the girls gain traits that will help them in their everyday lives.”

For 14-year-old setter Lisa Morabe, club volleyball has allowed her to maintain her physical health, while shaping her future in high school and college.

Players on Paye’s Performance 14 Black are all students in the eighth grade and on the verge of entering high school. The club volleyball season begins directly after their regular school season and permits for volleyball play the entire year.

Coaches said club volleyball demands hard work and dedication from players. “It’s typical for girls to travel at least an hour to play for a specific club, and the cost to be a member can be very expensive, averaging around $4,000 or more,” said assistant coach Sarah Bagaman. “There’s usually two to three practices a week and on average two tournaments a month.”

The girls are required to compete in more intense tournaments and compete with teams from all over the United States. This familiarizes the girls with a much higher level of play, and allows them to learn time management due to the traveling time and high level of commitment that the sport requires, said Katie Glomb, assistant coach.

However, the benefits offered possibly exceed the high expectations demanded. “College coaches heavily recruit based on watching players at club tournaments,” said Bagaman. “Scouts attend most of the big tournaments and I’ve had coaches watch some of my 14-year-old players.”

It’s very rare to see a girl playing at a collegiate level who did not participate in club previously, said Glomb. “Club is vital for experience and the exposure of young girls who desire to play in college.”

Bagaman said club volleyball tournaments could be considered scouting grounds for coaches. “Division I coaches from Gonzaga and UC Santa Barbara traveled to scout my players at past tournaments.”

The team recently traveled to Reno and placed first in the Far Western’s National Qualifier, guaranteeing them a spot at the Junior Olympics in Atlanta.

The main goal of the season is to qualify for Junior Olympics, said Glomb. “It’s what we strive for and work so hard to achieve.”

Paye’s Performance 14 Black has also competed in the California Kickoff and Presidents’ Day tournaments, the Spokane and Far Western’s Qualifiers and will be competing in local power leagues.

The girls on the team hope to all become members of their high school and college teams.

“I love the game. I get this feeling when I play,” said Morabe. “Words can’t express it.”